Baby perfumes are specially designed for safe use by infants. Perfumes for adults can be comprised of up to 80% alcohol, so they would likely dry and irritate the delicate skin of a baby. Most perfumes designed especially for babies are alcohol free, making them safe even for newborns. Some perfumes intended for toddlers and young children can contain small amounts of alcohol. However, even newborns can enjoy an alcohol-containing perfume if it isn’t sprayed directly onto their skin.
As well as being luxurious, baby perfumes can also have a deeply therapeutic effect. The pleasant smell of a perfume can be deeply soothing to a baby who is stressed, tired or uncomfortable. For example, the scent of vanilla has been shown to have a calming effect on newborn babies, encouraging peaceful sleep. Similarly, lavender is used in natural medicine to relieve anxiety, while the smell of citrus promotes wellbeing and happiness.
For parents who are worried that their baby will have a reaction to perfumed products, see below for some alternatives to applying the fragrance directly to the baby’s skin.
On bedding and stuffed toys
A relaxing scent is perfect for spraying on the blankets and stuffed toys that accompany a baby to bed every night, as it will create a cue for sleeping soundly. The cue can be used again when the baby is stressed or uncomfortable.
Mixing with baby lotion
Mix a couple of drops of baby perfume into some unscented baby lotion for a functional scent.
Using a Vaseline base
Vaseline will both help the scent adhere and remain longer, and protect the baby’s skin.
Cotton ball and pocket
Dip a cotton ball with the perfume and place it the pocket of the baby’s clothes.
On baby’s hairbrush
Use the perfume on the bristles of the baby’s hairbrush for a subtle but effective application method.
Before bath time
Parents can safely gauge their baby’s reaction to a perfume by using it just before bath time. The delicious fragrances help create pleasant memories for a baby, and it will be washed off before long anyway.